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The e.bike Social Riders
Meet Geoffrey and Charlie.
When Geoffrey’s mother fell ill, she needed to move into a nearby rest home. As it was only a short distance away, Geoffrey began visiting her by bicycle. He was using his bike so often that he ran into maintenance issues and paid a visit to his local bike store.
After that visit and conversation in his local bike shop in early 2017, he did a little research online, took an e.bike for a test ride and decided to Join The Electric Revolution. That was 3 years and 25,000km ago.
With his new-found passion for e.biking he was keen to meet more like-minded individuals. He discovered ‘e.bike Social Riders Hawkes Bay’ via Neighbourly and has been an active member and moderator for 3 years.
Geoffrey still owns a car but it doesn’t leave the garage much anymore.
“You can’t beat an e.bike for local transport. I have a small trailer which I can hitch to the back for trips to the garden centre or the re-cycling centre.” Geoffrey mainly uses his car to transport his e.bike to “away rides” around the country. Some of his favourite trails have been Paeroa to Waihi, the Remutuka Incline and the Timber Trail in Pureora Forest Park.
Charlie Davey, a co- founder of the group said it came about in true grass roots style. “A man called Peter posted on the Neighbourly website asking if there was a local e.bike group or a cycling group that accepted e.bikes.” Charlie replied saying he was considering starting an e.bike Facebook page to organise short rides.
Peter and Charlie distributed flyers to local bike shops, supermarkets and anyone seen riding an e.bike and promoted it extensively on Neighbourly. The first ride was on the 28th March 2017. “At first it was just the two of us! The next week our number doubled”. By the time Christmas came they were eighteen riders strong. From there they really gathered momentum. “We rode the wave of the growing popularity of e.bikes and our numbers increased rapidly.” Now there’s around 140 members in their closed Facebook group, with an average of around 28 turning up to their Tuesday rides.
Charlie loves the sense of community the group offers. “Every new rider that joins the group as a beginner feeds on the confidence of the group to become a competent rider and in turn helps other riders.” Many of the group’s members are older cycling enthusiasts who had given up the hobby due to concerns about not being able to keep up. The extra oomph of an e.bike is a game-changer for them.
We talked to some members who are enjoying the extra power and support the group rides offer, “I have been helped by members who have suggested appropriate gear and power changes and encouraged me along. My confidence to get out and explore is returning.”
Another member is enjoying longer, happier rides now she’s added an e to her bike life. “I can't believe I rode almost 50kms today and didn't think about my sore bum or knees, because I had someone to chat with. Having an e.bike has enabled me to get back riding so that "wind" and "hill" are no longer filthy four-letter words.”
The group’s growing numbers are proof the Electric Revolution is happening on roads and trails all over our country. And the popularity of e.bike communities is spreading.
“Our group regularly have queries on our Facebook page, from people asking how to set up their own groups.” They often host out-of-town visitors who want to experience the local trails. So if you’re in the Hawke's Bay or planning an e.bike trip in the area, they’d love you to get in touch with them on their Facebook page, ‘E.Bike Social Riders Hawkes Bay’. A wonderful invitation from people who love watching other people discover the e.bike buzz.
“If anyone is thinking about joining the e.bike revolution, try it. Borrow one or hire one. I promise you, you will be hooked.” Geoffrey and Charlie know the first-ride high because they’ve both seen it so many times. “People always return with the e.bike smile".
Looking to learn more about e.bikes? Check out the
e.bike Community NZ
Facebook page. It's a great place to share, connect and be inspired!
Looking to buy an e.bike? Check out the range of
bikes and discounts
available to Mercury customers.
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